Head and neck cancer

A place for people affected by head and neck cancers, including oral, throat , larynx (voice box), salivary glands, middle ear, and sinus and nasopharyngeal cancer. Support one another, ask questions, and share experiences.

Taste &mucus

Posted by

Hi All,

I finished 8 rounds of chemo and 30 radiotherapy 2 weeks ago I just got home from a 2 week stay in hospital for sepsis. I can still swallow but all food and drink tastes of salty slime making me gag I continue to try will the Taste ever return and when does the mucus subside any advice please.

Posted by

Hi Bradlou

Goid to heat you’re home 

my mucous had gone by four weeks after though I did get some build up overnight making my voice rubbish first thing for a good month or so after that. 

For two months I had a sour taste in my mouth most of the time. 
10 months on my taste is still hit and miss. I can eat and swallow almost anything but sometimes food I enjoyed last week has no or little taste this week. Citrus fruit is a no no entirely. Too sour. 
This is me and we are all different. 
I hope you continue to get better. 

Posted by

Hi there

The mucus will subside but everyone is different, so it will vary from person to person. 

Mine had gone but then returned with some ulceration which was painful.  Also it has gone back to the white froth. This can happen for 12 months I've been lead to believe. (but hope not or I've got a while longer.) (Mucositis)

Managing the cleanliness of the mouth is key and have pain relief available just in case.

The metallic taste go's too, but I was able to taste salt for a while, this also go's. You may get a craving for sugar.

I've tried mash with butter or cream, sugar free gum, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese & pineapple, cold grapes, or apple slices. Water to freshen the pallet and dilute any salty tastes. Basically keep trying different foods and textures until something clicks for You. My taste buds come and go but again it takes time. 

You will get there,  just keep going & be strong. 

Posted by

Hello Bradlou

Sorry to hear you had to go through this but all done now well done so onwards and upwards being positive .

I had the same problem end of last year but we are all different with recovery of taste and mucus issues. From my own experience and looking at the stage you are at I would say positively your doing really well and doing the right thing swallowing drinking and eating this is key to the quickest recovery as some people have trouble with this initially. I was pinching my skin on my head to put pain there to allow me to swallow and eat food. For the sickness I would say you need your doctor to prescribe anti sickness tablets urgently to help you.. the mucus takes time but drink loads to help that. I had chemo and radiotherapy in March this year plus a lump removed from my neck. I was told Taste comes back at different speeds for individuals. The quicker you can get back to exercise eating and drinking more the better the outcome from my experience. My taste started coming back after 1 or 2 months but only partially it's now October and taste is pretty good now but sulivoer is not 100 percent but is better. Be positive fight to swollow food drink and exercise to benefit you that's the way to go. I'm sure all will be good it just takes a bit of time and consistency. Your doing great but get anti sickness tablets from the doc and well done ....